Today was a rare day. It was a day I don’t usually get or enjoy. I had a few really crap-ass things happen today but I had some good things happen too. JoDee has been home for about 2 weeks at this point. I haven’t seen her too much because of the ridiculous tundra of snow. I mean Salem and Danvers are not all that far apart but when you have ten million feet of snow in a months’ time, it sort of home bounds everyone. We did have a small mishap involving the car JoDee drives. That mishap would be she did not head the parking ban and her car was towed. I’m sure you know where this is going. Yup, I had to bail her car out of car-jail. The truth is, I would rather bail her car out than have to bail her out!
Of course, she needs her prescriptions filled, she has no groceries, and it was OC birthday, so she was making the trip over. I told her to come over early because we had a busy day planned. Starting with, going to see my 90 year old, bat-shit crazy grandmother. JoDee decided to come with me. This little trip to see my grandmother started with JoDee pulling in my driveway with enough gusto to plow into my recycling bins pinning them against my fence. She looked at me from the driver’s seat with a quizzical look on her face, and gave me a thumbs up, asking if she was parked alright. When she got in my car I pointed out her ridiculous parking job. And we basically laughed about it all day.
Those are the good moments. The moments I miss. It’s nice to have some of them back. But these moments have a truthful side that is sometimes hard to hear. At one point the needle cap I found under my seat last week when looking for a car key I had dropped was noticed by JoDee. This prompted all kinds of “when I was using” talk. She was surprised I still found needle caps in my car. I was too, but its par for the course. When she is using she doesn’t care if it’s my car, her car, someone else’s car, the side of the road, a bathroom, a locked unit. It’s all the same. A place for her to stick the needle in her arm to poison herself with the snake charm. She picked the cap up and studied it for a minute. She noticed it had teeth marks on it and commented she must have been in a rush because she really bit it. She said I must have spit it out, in a hurry because she usually looked for them so not to leave evidence behind. The conversation sort of evolved into the last time she was using and techniques she used to get money. I won’t break her confidence by spilling her guts but its times like that I really have to think who this girl is? How did my child who was afraid to get in trouble by me risk being arrested or harmed by doing such horrible illegal things? Why does she keep putting herself into these ridiculous situations? I guess that is just part of active addiction. I could tell by the way she was talking that she was even surprised at the things she would do or the lengths she would go too. And it’s hard for me to hear these things because I think to myself, if I gave her money she wouldn’t have to do that. But I can’t think that way. No matter what she does, and I really don’t want to know everything that is really her business, I can’t support her active addiction. I can only support her recovery. It doesn’t make it any less painful. It’s hard to hear the things that JoDee goes through.
On the heels of JoDee losing yet another of her NA family, it’s difficult to not still worry about her. Last week another boy that JoDee knew from NA passed away. He, like JoDee, has been coming in and out, according to her. This is not someone I knew personally, but that doesn’t matter. I can only imagine the pain his family must feel. And it was somewhat eye opening for me in regards to what JoDee thinks about our station in life. This is how this went:
JoDee via text: We lost another person to heroin
Me: Omg that is awful. When?
JoDee: Last night.
Me: So awful.
JoDee: Thank god you don’t have to worry about that anymore
Me: I worry about that every single day. I will never stop worrying about that. You are an addict every day and I wake up every day hopeful that you choose not to use but not naive enough to believe you won’t.
JoDee: Wow, way to think positive.
Me: I am positive you can do it if you want too. And I am positive you have the tools to do it but I am also positive that I get sick to my stomach every single time my phone rings from an unknown number wonder if this is going to be the dreaded phone call.
JoDee: Holy shit.
All of that is true for both of us. Only JoDee knows where she is in recovery. Only JoDee knows if she is conning us or doing the right thing. And I only I know the anxiety of wondering where JoDee’s head is in this process. What I said to her is true, and I do have a positive outlook but I am not as inexperienced to not expect the unexpected. I don’t ever want to get a call that JoDee is back in the hospital or on her way to detox, but I am better prepared to see it coming. I have tougher skin now, and I don’t take it as a personal failure when it happens. Instead, I see it for what it is, an addict in active drug addiction. I wish we never knew what heroin was. I wish that I had never gotten to the point that I know exactly what to say to the Intake Worker, or that I didn’t know the few things you are allowed to take to detox. I wish that most of my sick and vacation days last year were used for sick and vacation time not more heroin craziness. I wish I wish I wish. The list goes on and at the end of the day I know how fortunate I am because I don’t have to wish for one more day with JoDee and that is something so many parents are suffering through. I remain grateful. I don’t complain. Not about addiction.
I do complain about having to spend 40 minutes of my life that I will never get back in Build-A-Bear with OC and Jared so OC could build a bear for her birthday. Anyone experience this slice of hell right here on earth? I had no idea you actually built the damn bear! And I must say, Jared was no more thrilled about this than I was, but he was a trooper so we went to the Marble Store after to buy him a reward. I also complain about coming home from the Build-A-Bear horror show to find socks floating in my basement because my water tank let go. I complained about the money I had saved for a new mattress since my back is basically crocked going to a new water tank instead. Should I complain about these things? Probably not. But the other thing that has happened in the last few years, is I give a shit less what others think and I no longer make excuses for myself. I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. At the end of the day, if I look in the mirror to see my own reflection and not the reflection of Reality, Grief, Fear, Despair, Anger or anyone else, I’m doing ok. And really, I’m doing ok. I love my job, I am so fortunate to work with people I enjoy working with at a job that is supportive and forgiving, I couldn’t ask for better. I have a great relationship with all my kids, and with AC kids. For the most part I have a great relationship with AC, as anyone in a long term relationship knows this is always a work in progress. I have awesome friends, and I have a daughter that is clean today. I am happy to reflect on the positive today. I cherish it because tomorrow may never come, and if it does who knows what is coming with it.